Abadia Retuerta '96
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- n144mann - 09-12-1999 06:31 PM
Randy, remember discussing this wine together back in May/June?? Before getting hopelessly sidetracked... Actually, now that I think of it, it is a '97 rivola...not a '96. Have you had problems with this wine being frequently corked??? I asked Ari to get it in for me...opened the case myself, tried one bottle, liked it, and bought 5 more to drink over the course of the year. I opened the last tonight, and it was great, but along the way, I have had two that were corked. Was I just extraordinarily unlucky or is frequent corkiness a problem you have run into also with this wine??
All of the corks have been really soft and sponge like....but it is my understanding that that alone does not increase the risk of corkiness. Or am I wrong...does it increase the risk??
PS- despite my bad luck, I really do like this wine...when it is good....it is GOOD! Gotta love that tempranillo!!
[This message has been edited by n144mann (edited 09-12-99).]
- Thomas - 09-13-1999 07:52 AM
Nancy, for what it is worth: when I worked for a distributor we represented a wine from the Ribera del Duero, Spain. It was a good wine, both Reserva and Crianza styles, but prone to corkiness. The percentage of corky wines we encountered was way out of line.
Also, over the years I have noticed that corks in Spanish wines seem far too problematic when compared to any other European wine region.
- n144mann - 09-13-1999 08:45 AM
Thanks foodie, I have had many spanish wines, but have never run into this problem before. I know Randy is more familiar with this wine, as well as others made by this winery....I am anxious to see if he had better experiences than I. I am also curious to talk to my retailer, who I know also took some of this wine home. I want to see if he has had any problems with the corkines. I never returned any of the bottles, because I didn't want to fuss....and... because I had requested the wine and my retailer had gone WAY out of his way to get it for me. But, I work for him now....so now I can ask without being labeled a complainer. <grin>
thanks for the response Foodie
- Randy Caparoso - 09-13-1999 09:30 PM
Nancy, Nancy: You had ONE bottle that was corked. The current industry standard is 5% corkiness. So if less than one out of your past twenty bottles has been corked, I'd say that you're leading a charmed life.
No, I absolutely cannot say that I've found Spanish wines to be "corkier" than others. I find these runs of corked bottles in products from all over the world -- Germany, Australia, New Zealand, France, California, Oregon... no wine region, and no wine producer, has been immune to this pesky problem. Very recently a friend of mine opened a rare (and hideously expensive) Batard-Montrachet by Domaine Leflaive that was just brutally corked. If anything, in my own experience, the pricier and more hand crafted the wine, the higher the percentage of corked wine!
The sponginess, of course, has nothing to do with the chances of a wine being corked. I'd be more worried if the corks were dry (which means improper storage causing shrinkage and thus possible oxidation). What one sometimes finds in imported wines, however, is red coloring of corks -- which means at one point the wines were stored in extreme heat causing the wines to leak out. But it's amazing -- sometimes wines turn out just fine after that (other times they've become thin, lifeless, and "burned out"). None of which has anything to do with corkiness, which is a bacterial problem.
One caveat: If a wine has come a long way (particularly from Europe), given a choice between a younger and older vintage, unless you absolutely know the older vintage is better you should take the younger. Why? Because that's one less year during which it could have been mishandled during shipment and storage. I always do this as a matter of habit to increase my chances of getting a fresher product. But again, this is all a matter of freshness, not corkiness.
So don't complain to your friendly neighborhood retailer just yet (although I'm assuming you returned the corked bottle, which is accepted practice even among friends). But in the interest of getting sound product, the next time you place a special order try to specify the vintage. God help you if they happen to send something much older; especially if the wine in question is supposed to be enjoyed when young and alive and kicking!
[This message has been edited by Randy Caparoso (edited 09-13-99).]
- n144mann - 09-14-1999 06:11 PM
Randy, I simply wanted your track record with this individual wine because I have never run into a wine before where two out of the six bottles I purchased were corked. Glad to know you have not had problems. I will purchase it again without worry.
[This message has been edited by n144mann (edited 09-14-99).]